Dominican University Community Picnic

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 Oak Park-River Forest  See map

Dominican University will present on Sunday, July 29, a community program and free ice cream social celebrating its 100-year commitment to the arts.  The event, presented in partnership with the Oak Park Art League, will begin at 4 p.m. and culminate with a free screening of the Academy Award-winning film, Hugo. 

Offering one of the oldest study abroad programs in the country, Dominican first sent young women abroad in the early 1900s to study and copy the great masterpieces of art in Italy. In the early 1940s, industrialist and diplomat Myron Taylor donated his Villa Schifanoia, a 16th century estate located just outside Florence, Italy, to Pope Pius XII, who, in turn, assigned it to the university in 1941 according to Taylor’s wishes. 

Dominican operated a highly regarded graduate school in the fine arts at the villa, where students studied the history, theory and practice of art as well as music composition while overlooking the estate’s manicured grounds and hedge labyrinth and the hills of Fiesole.  The school was closed in the 1980s when the Vatican sold the villa. However, students today still paint on the grounds of the villa during a six-week summer study abroad program in Florence.

Over the past nine decades, Dominican has developed a growing permanent art collection, including pieces by Carl Krafft, Salvador Dali and Joan Mitchell. Selections from the permanent collection will be displayed in the O’Connor Art Gallery during the community event. In addition, Jeffery Cote de Luna, professor of painting, and Joshua Johnson, a talented recent art graduate, will display and discuss their work.

The event also will include a discussion of the restoration of one of Dominican’s major paintings by renowned conservator Barry Bauman and a campus tour of outdoor sculpture.

Attendees are invited to bring a picnic supper to enjoy in the university Quad, where artists from the Oak Park Art League will be creating plein air paintings and leading children’s art activities. The university will be providing a free ice cream social during the picnic.

The event will culminate in a free screening of the Academy Award-winning film, Hugo, in the Lund Auditorium at 7 p.m.  

Participation in the program from 4 to 5:30 p.m., which includes the exhibit, art talks, sculpture tour and art restoration discussion, is limited to 70 guests although the picnic, ice cream social and art activities from 5:30 to 7 p.m., as well as the movie are open to all.

For more information, please contact Jessica Mackinnon, director of public information, at 708-524-6289 or jmack@dom.edu.


4 to 5:30 p.m.   

  • Viewing permanent art collection, O’Connor Art Gallery
  • Art talk by Jeffery Cote de Luna, professor of painting, O’Connor Art Gallery
  • Art talk by Joshua Johnson, recent art graduate, O’Connor Art Gallery
  • Preview of gallery schedule, O’Connor Art Gallery
  • Discussion of art restoration by Barry Bauman, Social Hall
  • Sculpture tour, campus

5:30 to 7 p.m.   

  • Plein air painting by Oak Park Art League artists, Quad
  • Children’s art activity by Oak Park Art League volunteers, Quad
  • Picnic in Quad—bring your own supper and chairs
  • Free ice cream social, Quad

7 to 9 p.m.

  • Free screening of Hugo, Lund Auditorium


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